By Excel Dyquiangco
Even those who are in jail deserve the right to have good education.
That is why the local government of Taguig in the Philippines has put up an Alternative Learning System and Skills Training facility, a two-storey structure that is the product of a concerted effort between the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology and Congressman Arnel Cerafica of Pateros-Taguig City, for its 1,759 inmates.
Taguig City Jail Warden Jail Superintendent Flory Sanchez said, “We want to give every opportunity for growth and development to our clienteles. Education is our top priority for them.”
The newest initiative of the BJMP to promote quality education behind bars for both female and male detainees, the facility has now been transformed from a former tent to a classroom conducive for learning.
BJMP Chief Serafin P. Barretto Jr. has stressed the importance of creating new skills for those behind bars, especially for when time of their release comes.
In a statement, he said, “Most of the inmates under our care were not able to finish elementary and secondary education. Many of them does not have enough skills which they can use in looking for a decent job. We want to assist them by providing not only the opportunity to learn but also a better venue where they can pursue education again.”
Meanwhile, Superintendent Sanchez said, “We fully understand the need of our detainees and it is our continuing call to provide them the best service that we could extend not only to rehabilitate but prepare them for their future reintegration back to their respective communities.”
The facility focuses on programs, such as rag-making, rhinestone art designs, pillow-making, t-shirt printing and soap-making.
During recreation time, the inmates enjoy basketball sessions and board games.
Situated within the BJMP Jail Complex inside Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig, the Taguig City Jail has 993% congestion rate, considered among the most overpopulated of the city jails in Metro Manila, with most of the inmates facing drug-related cases.